Rugged and rustic, Gili Meno off Lombok offers an array of magical experiences. The island left a lasting impression on us last weekend and it’s safe to say we’re smitten. Here’s why we can’t wait to go back.
Words and Images: AirAsia Social Media and Digital Content
STARTING THE DAY RIGHT
I’m thankful for the privilege of watching sunrise over Mount Rinjani and sunset over Mount Agung (all the way across the sea in Bali). Promised myself that I’ll be back for another Lombok sunrise-watching, and it will be from atop Mount Rinjani!
Ari Fajar, Content Executive
FREEDOM ON TWO WHEELS
I am always my happiest when on two wheels, so I really had great time pedalling an old-school bike around the inner alleys of the island laden with tall trees and humble homes. Going through the kampung (village) waving hellos to the local kids, taking a break to slowly approach a tiny baby goat with curious eyes, stumbling upon a quiet lake where the trees reflect the tranquillity of the still waters—such a simple, joyful ride.
Irvin Hanni, Photojournalist
HOPE FOR THE TURTLES
A man named Buolong runs a non-profit turtle sanctuary. It’s really a pool divided into four sections for the young turtles, where they are kept until they are eight months old and capable of surviving the open sea. It was very exciting to see the hatchlings up close eating ikan bilis (anchovies). Hopefully, all the efforts done by the turtle sanctuary and individuals can help to revive the turtle population. Don’t forget to donate!
Hakma Juhari, Digital Content Webmaster
NOT ANOTHER BALI
When I heard we’d have our team building in Lombok, I didn’t give it much thought. My impression of Lombok was that of a quieter Bali. During our two-hour drive to the jetty, I began to fall in love with Lombok. The island reminds me of the scenery in Hawaii, it’s so green and lush with crystal blue water surrounding it. As we approached the resort we stayed at, I knew it was not just another Bali. It’s a slice of paradise on its own.
Yong Swee Ping, Group Social Media Strategist
THE ONLY (NON-PEDAL-POWERED) MODE OF TRANSPORT
There are no petrol-powered vehicles on the Gilis. The traditional transportation is called cidomo, which stands for Cikar (Ci), Dokar (Do) and Mobil (Mobil)—simply a small horse-drawn carriage. You should try it when you visit Lombok!
Syaheeda Hishamuddin, Social Media Executive
THE BIG BLUE
One of the most irresistible charms in Lombok is the calm and clear blue sea water. I spent most of my time in the sea snorkelling to hunt for the colourful fishes and turtles (although I didn’t get to see them). My unforgettable moment in the sea? I saw flying fishes jumping out of the water!
Helen Soh, Social Media Executive
What’s better than fun times, games and tasty seafood dinner by the beach against the backdrop of one of Indonesia’s best sunsets? The laughter and growing camaraderie amongst friends—especially those who have not caught up with each other lately—during the magic hour is just precious and truly a moment to cherish for a long, long time.
Matthew Mok, Group Digital Content & Mobile Manager
There’s something beautiful about getting away from the trappings of modernity and the rush of urban life. I was so taken by the place that I didn’t even realise that there was no TV in the hotel room! I was happy to catch up on my reading and to see nature instead of concrete structures. Life in the Gilis isn’t fast by any means, but it makes you think of how little you really need to be happy.
Abby Yao, Content Team Lead
THE WARMTH OF ITS PEOPLE
Whilst the world clambers for the best hotels, meals, views and steals, I believe what makes a truly memorable trip is the people. The Lombok-ians are friendly, hospitable and they go out of the way just for you. I believe it’s a gift to make someone feel like they’re treasured and cherished, and the locals on Gili Meno did just that. Every story they told, every smile they gave, added to this colourful tapestry of cultures and experiences that all the money in the world could never buy.
Ellyse Ng, Regional Social Media Manager
NO FILTER REQUIRED
What was most memorable about Lombok? Taking #nofilter mood shots against the pretty sunset rays on Gili Meno beach (that’s the west part of the island) *wink*
Cynthia Chung, Social Media Manager
GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Lombok from Kuala Lumpur. For flight info and lowest fares, visit www.airasia.com.